Shoppers are used to the ease of online shopping and the depth of information digital commerce provides on products and retailers' values. But stores are still a core part of most retailers’ strategy and should be a living representation of the brand.
To appeal to modern shoppers, new technologies, such as digital displays, can infuse the online shopping experience into the physical world and provide the level of information consumers are accustomed to acquiring in a digital world. Real-time data can even change the in-store experience these shoppers have once they step inside the brick-and-mortar walls. And new technologies provide retailers with more feedback than ever before, from things like dwell time to what products are picked up and left on the shelf.
To uncover how retailers can best leverage in-store technology to attract customers and build brand loyalty, Parrish Chapman, director, enterprise retail sales at Samsung Electronics America, sat down with RIS for an exclusive Q&A on the topic.
RIS: What retail technology solutions help attract consumers, while enhancing millennial engagement?
Chapman: Competing with the simplicity and safety of online shopping isn’t easy — and requires a level of technological sophistication currently beyond the reach of most traditional retailers. But there are clear steps that can be taken, and with the right technological support, face-to-face shoppers can soon enjoy the same level of speed, safety, convenience and control that they find online.
Digital displays can mimic the online shopping experience and offer an interactive touchpoint allowing shoppers to self-educate and own the shopping process much like they do online.
Millennials and Gen X-ers use technology differently — it's important to have a diverse set of solutions to reach different audiences in a natural and comfortable way. At a base level, retailers should use AI that will allow for automatic content changes based on in-store activities to pull the customer deeper into the buyer’s journey.
The Benefits of Digital Displays
- Drive traffic and increase conversions by delivering target, eye-catching advertisements and sharing valuable information at every consumer touchpoint.
- Create congruence between your online and offline retail experiences with consistent messaging and design that can be adjusted remotely at the touch of a button.
- Give consumers ultimate control over their own retail experience with touch displays and kiosks that make it easy to locate a product or speed up the checkout process.
- Reduce the monetary and environmental costs of paper by eliminating the needs to regularly update in-store print graphics and messaging.
RIS: How can retailers inspire shoppers inside the store through retail technology?
Chapman: Customers will gravitate to brands that have a great online digital experience. And in-store technologies that mimic the brand’s online experience will inspire shoppers. Matching retail technologies to a brand’s core values builds brand awareness and a deep connection to a brand’s products.
Nearly 50% of consumers say they regularly use a retailer’s mobile app while they’re shopping in that brand’s store. Fast Sensor technology connects a retailer’s online presence with its offline store — and can even send personalized notifications right to shoppers’ phones as they enter a brick-and-mortar location.
Not only are consumers more likely to abandon a retailer after a negative customer experience, but they’re also 140% more likely to return after a positive one. So it makes sense that if digitization is the easiest way to streamline the in-store experience, retailers can predictably expect a bump in sales by embracing digital transformation.
RIS: In what ways can digital signage give retailers new ways to interact with in-store shoppers?
Chapman: Displays can solve core shopping issues and reinforce a brand's image building brand loyalty. They can be used in aisles to blend in-store shopping to online inventory or be built into a product set that provides awareness and product information to drive purchases. Shoppers feel more educated than in-store teams and displays aid them in owning their in-store experience.
RIS: Utilizing real-time data is top of mind for many retailers, but why is this such a crucial element to the customer experience?
Chapman: Data should be broken down into two categories: first-party data and real-time data produced during the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Most retailers own first-party data (loyalty-web data), and we now can inject this data into the brick-and-mortar shopping experience on digital displays to increase ROI of data and improve basket size. For example, leveraging loyalty programs to offer clients the exact data they are craving to increase the ease of buying or personalizing the shopping experience.
Real-time data is produced by customers' activities inside a physical store. This data can be used to change content automatically to drive a deep understanding of a product or to direct shoppers to a point inside the store they would not have visited.
All this new data gives retailers unprecedented control over what happens in their stores. They can track the effectiveness of store design and display, test new marketing and customer engagement strategies, and establish a culture of continuous improvement based on their ever-expanding knowledge of customer preferences and behaviors.
Shopping basket data only tells retailers what consumers ultimately decided to buy. But when retailers can measure things like dwell time, products that were picked up and put back, or the demographics of those stopping to watch digital content or try a product sample, they can understand what opportunities they’re missing.